Everything about Miami Beach has changed since my dad treated me to my first taste of scrambled eggs with lox and onions at Wolfie's, an old Jewish delicatessen on Lincoln Road. Wolfie's has closed; Lincoln Road is now a chic mall for shopping and bar-hopping, and the part of Miami Beach where my grandparents lived (in the Cardozo Hotel, an Art Deco landmark) no longer abuts the water, thanks to a beach reconstruction project years ago. I haven't eaten eggs with lox and onions for years, since my dad passed away, but recently I've been craving that combination of creamy eggs and salty smoked salmon. I decided to reconstruct the scrambled egg dish just a bit, and turn it into an egg and cheese breakfast casserole, with bits of smoked salmon, leeks from the garden, and mild mozzarella cheese. I added parsley, as a tribute to the sprig of curly parsley that Wolfie's always threw on the plate, whether it needed to be there or not. Enjoy this egg casserole for a holiday breakfast.
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If there had been any red wine in the house, a bottle of cheap wine or even fancy dinner party wine, I'd have made my grandmother's brisket, the tried-and-true recipe my mother and her mother used to make with the sweet Manischewitz wine that was, at the time, the only kosher wine you could buy. And that would have been a shame, because without wine, I turned to my pantry for inspiration, and what I found were all of the ingredients for this Southwestern beef brisket that's a little bit sweet, and a little bit smoky, and a little tiny bit hot and spicy. Slice it or shred it, as you can see in the photos. Make this on Friday, serve it on game day, or freeze for your next Tex-Mex party.
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Though I love to try new dishes at Indian restaurants, I'd always been a bit intimidated about tackling those same recipes at home. I didn't have many of the unfamiliar spices and ingredients in my pantry, didn't even know where to buy them, and I froze in fear at the number of steps of preparation many recipes required. Then, a $19 slow cooker came into my life, and with it, a couple of cookbooks that made cooking Indian food fast and easy and not at all scary. My husband Ted and I loved this recipe for Sindhi beef curry adapted slightly from 150 Best Indian, Thai, Vietnamese & More Slow Cooker Recipes, a must-have book for slow-cooker cooks who love Asian food. Unfamiliar as I am with regional Indian cuisines, I researched the origin of this dish, and learned that it is from the Sindhi people who come from the area of west India that is now, geographically, in Pakistan. It's a simple tomato-based curry that's perfect over rice. Make it ahead, if you can; like all stews, it's even better the second day.
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A bag of beautiful sun-dried tomatoes, a gift from my friend Mary, inspired several dishes in my kitchen recently, including this baked egg casserole with Italian cheeses and fresh herbs from my garden. Egg casseroles make ideal breakfast, brunch or light supper entrées. You can whip them up in minutes, they serve a lot of people, and they adapt to almost any flavor profile, so you can raid the pantry or use up leftover chicken, pasta or cooked vegetables. Add green chiles and cumin, for a Mexican flair, or soy sauce and scallions, to put an egg foo yung spin on this recipe. I love the classic combination of tomato with basil and thyme, both of which are still prolific in my herb garden.
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